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Old Nov 16, 2012, 03:49 PM   #51
rendevouspoo
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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
So essentially the same thing. The union represents the workers.


That's fundamentally wrong. Unions used to represent workers. Now, they represent the very same greed they claim to be against.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 03:51 PM   #52
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There are many factors involved including pride, pride not limited to workers, but the entire spectrum of people from one end of the company to the other.
I am happy to belong to a union who can see the lay of the land and can adjust realistic expectations based on the economic landscape. That is ALPA. Not all unions are that gifted. I've seen them walk off a cliff like the NWA mechanics did 10 years ago. They are people. People make bad decisions and they just are not limited to unions. Management makes plenty of cynical, self serving, and just plan bad decisions. That is a people character issue, not a union character issue. However there are times in negotiations where you have to call the other sides bluff. Hopefully you know when to do that...
Yeah I think unions are actually a good thing in general and that it's the right of the workers to voluntarily form these associations.

You can say that management makes bad decisions, but so do unions. So I don't really think that you can lay that solely on management. Too often people are quick to blame the management and label them as fat cats without realizing that it's usually in their interest to keep the company afloat too.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 03:52 PM   #53
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In regards to the comments in this thread about overinflated CEO salaries, why is it that in this case they are fat greedy CEO's, while a few weeks ago I pointed out the fat salaried that PBS and Sesame Street CEOs have, and was basically told that those salaries are needed to attract quality people???
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 04:09 PM   #54
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Even if that's true, it still doesn't help the workers to all be fired instead of perhaps some of them losing jobs.
I believe it was an 8% pay cut that was the issue. Why some people think a 100% pay cut is better for the workers than an 8% pay cut escapes me.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 04:09 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by glocke12 View Post
In regards to the comments in this thread about overinflated CEO salaries, why is it that in this case they are fat greedy CEO's, while a few weeks ago I pointed out the fat salaried that PBS and Sesame Street CEOs have, and was basically told that those salaries are needed to attract quality people???
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/201...all/?mobile=nc
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 04:13 PM   #56
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You'd think Hostess would be doing quite well with the legalization of pot in two states
This is the whole point. thewitt blames the unions when he should be blaming the other 48 states (or is it 49) and the rest of the world for not coming to Hostess' rescue by legalising pot.

I for one am writing to my MP and asking her what she is doing to save the Twinkie.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 04:16 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by glocke12 View Post
In regards to the comments in this thread about overinflated CEO salaries, why is it that in this case they are fat greedy CEO's, while a few weeks ago I pointed out the fat salaried that PBS and Sesame Street CEOs have, and was basically told that those salaries are needed to attract quality people???
I don't know who said they were fat and greedy, I was pointing out the contradiction of trying to reduce workers' salaries by 30% while continuing to approve executive salary increases and bonuses. Does that really make logical sense to you?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 04:18 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glocke12 View Post
In regards to the comments in this thread about overinflated CEO salaries, why is it that in this case they are fat greedy CEO's, while a few weeks ago I pointed out the fat salaried that PBS and Sesame Street CEOs have, and was basically told that those salaries are needed to attract quality people???
As Peace pointed out, the CEOs at Hostess gave themselves raises after the union workers took a pay cut.

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Originally Posted by CorvusCamenarum View Post
I believe it was an 8% pay cut that was the issue. Why some people think a 100% pay cut is better for the workers than an 8% pay cut escapes me.
A question, if your boss told you to take a 50 percent pay cut or be fired, would you take the cut?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 04:25 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glocke12 View Post
In regards to the comments in this thread about overinflated CEO salaries, why is it that in this case they are fat greedy CEO's, while a few weeks ago I pointed out the fat salaried that PBS and Sesame Street CEOs have, and was basically told that those salaries are needed to attract quality people???
I missed the salaries on the PBS executives. On this one you should at least interpret the situation in its entirety. The management is taking huge pay increases, basically getting in whatever payday they can before the company goes under. If such raises were needed to retain management, and they're still pushing the same tired products, it's probably doomed anyway.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 04:26 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by hulugu View Post

A question, if your boss told you to take a 50 percent pay cut or be fired, would you take the cut?
I would find another job.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 04:40 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by CorvusCamenarum View Post
I believe it was an 8% pay cut that was the issue. Why some people think a 100% pay cut is better for the workers than an 8% pay cut escapes me.
Because if you do not organize and stand firm some place, (thereby raising the market cost for labor) and let the free market run unfettered, you have a recipe for a grossly unequal distribution of both wealth and opportunity. That is bad news in the long run for all sides. Even the capitalists necks are in danger at some point in that scenario.

Businesses that can not support a working business model should not be in business.

There is not easy answers for any of this, but organized labor is check against some of the problems. Labor itself of course has to have its own checks.

----------

These guys should have been selling a Gluten free, stevia sweetened line of some sort. They could have commanded 4x the ASP and 5x the gross margin
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 04:57 PM   #62
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It's actually the hedge fund lenders, not the private equity guys this time, that are forcing this liquidation. This per some Fortune mag articles related to the 2nd bankruptcy. Here's a link to one of them.

http://management.fortune.cnn.com/20...kies-bankrupt/

Strange how so many of our iconic brand baked goods operations in the US now are already owned by Grupo Bimbo (Mexico), and of their brands, I'd say at least a third of them were previously owned by Weston (Canada), the ones like Entenmanns and Arnolds etc. We don't seem too good at hanging onto our bakeries, do we. I wonder why that is. The CEOs were making enough money to buy gingerbread palaces?

Anyway the companies get milked, the lenders / owners bail out, crying union intransigence and labor costs, boo hoo,,, then they sell the brands to some multinational outfit, maybe some workers elsewhere in the states or offshore get the (fewer) jobs, but for less pay and fewer benefits.

And then... and then? Just rinse and repeat, periodically. Globalization or just exploitation?

The thing is, we might actually be running out of companies to play down and out that way. Wasn't that long ago the New York Times had a piece about Stella D'Oro bakery workers in the Bronx, going through a similar squeeze that ended with the factory getting closed and the brand's products are baked someplace in Texas. I presume it's a non union shop there but I'm not sure. After Texas, where?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 05:02 PM   #63
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 05:05 PM   #64
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The Unions are thrilled with the power and influence they wield in the present day political climate.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 05:10 PM   #65
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I don't know who said they were fat and greedy, I was pointing out the contradiction of trying to reduce workers' salaries by 30% while continuing to approve executive salary increases and bonuses. Does that really make logical sense to you?
where do you get 30% ?

"The new contract cut salaries across the company by 8% in the first year of the five-year agreement. Salaries were then scheduled to bump up 3% in the next three years and 1% in the final year.
Hostess also reduced its pension obligations and its contribution to the employees' health care plan. In exchange, the company offered concessions, including a 25% equity stake for workers and the inclusion of two union representatives on an eight-member board of directors. "

http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/16/news...ing/index.html

WHile the CEO's salary increases may have been out of line, the offer the company made is not that unreasonable...having a job that pays less than what you were making is better than no job at all..

but hey, at least the unions got to prove their point...no one is going to push them around.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 05:17 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by eric/ View Post
Even if that's true, it still doesn't help the workers to all be fired instead of perhaps some of them losing jobs.
but the CEO got a 300% pay raise along with some of the other hire ups. That should of been the first place to cut pay. Not taking out of the unions. And you wonder why we have issues with the people at the top?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 05:27 PM   #67
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but the CEO got a 300% pay raise along with some of the other hire ups. That should of been the first place to cut pay. Not taking out of the unions. And you wonder why we have issues with the people at the top?
A parachute so when they sell off their brands they get a nice buyout/severance
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 05:33 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by glocke12 View Post
where do you get 30% ?

"The new contract cut salaries across the company by 8% in the first year of the five-year agreement. Salaries were then scheduled to bump up 3% in the next three years and 1% in the final year.
Hostess also reduced its pension obligations and its contribution to the employees' health care plan. In exchange, the company offered concessions, including a 25% equity stake for workers and the inclusion of two union representatives on an eight-member board of directors. "

http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/16/news...ing/index.html

WHile the CEO's salary increases may have been out of line, the offer the company made is not that unreasonable...having a job that pays less than what you were making is better than no job at all..

but hey, at least the unions got to prove their point...no one is going to push them around.
The cnn article is written in a somewhat ambiguous manner. It's written like those cuts may have already been in effect. Note this portion.

Quote:
They decided that they were not going to agree to another round of outrageous wage and benefit cuts and give up their pension only to see yet another management team fail and Wall Street vulture capitalists and 'restructuring specialists' walk away with untold millions of dollars."
The part after that also says cut rather than cuts. I'm not sure if the suggested 30% cut is on top of that.

It has been reported though.

http://www.latimes.com/business/mone...0,3714808.post


Quote:
The union said in a statement that Hostess made unreasonable demands, including wage and benefit cuts of around 30% for workers, while top executives of the company received large pay increases.

“The crisis facing Hostess Brands is the result of nearly a decade of financial and operational mismanagement that resulted in two bankruptcies, mountains of debt, declining sales and lost market share,” said union President Frank Hurt. “The Wall Street investors who took over the company after the last bankruptcy attempted to resolve the mess by attacking the company’s most valuable asset – its workers.”
I tried to check their reference, but it said "bandwidth limit exceeded". Bleh. I can't find a lot of information on the management salaries, so I don't know if these raises were part of their contracts. Excessive compensation for driving a company toward failure annoys me either way. In that sense, they're making themselves part of the problem. I guess it could be an issue to look for new management to run a sinking ship, but that doesn't mean the people who set it on that course should be able to increase their take. At this point while I can think of a number of things that could have enabled such behavior, it looks like vulturing to me.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 05:36 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by glocke12 View Post
where do you get 30% ?
EDIT: thekev beat me to it with the same link. FWIW the union statement is available in Google cache.

I did a little poking around. There are several sources for this number, e.g. http://www.latimes.com/business/mone...0,3714808.post so it seems that there were significant benefit cuts along with the salary cuts.

I can't verify any of the numbers independently, but as always there are two sides to every story.

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Old Nov 16, 2012, 05:41 PM   #70
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How about the 18,000 buy the company, restructure it to be profitable, and then pay themselves whatever they wish?

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Old Nov 16, 2012, 05:44 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by glocke12 View Post
WHile the CEO's salary increases may have been out of line, the offer the company made is not that unreasonable...having a job that pays less than what you were making is better than no job at all..
The union's statement mentioned that the original proposal of cuts was for 30%, but they agreed on 8% - so apologies if I wasn't clear on that point. The LA Times reported the same.

Either way, the fact remains that cuts were being proposed to workers' salaries when executives were still getting raises and bonuses. Again, does that make any kind of logical sense? At minimum, executive salaries should have been frozen.

Not to mention this isn't the first round of cuts for Hostess after two bankruptcies in 8 years. Directing the blame for the closure of the company at the union's feet is a genius stroke of PR maneuvering, but it's factually ridiculous.

I am not saying that the union could have very well been at fault on some matters, but I really don't get the position that this is 100% cut and dried the union's fault. Things aren't that black and white in the real world.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 05:47 PM   #72
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When is the last time you saw someone you know with a Twinkie or Ho Ho in their hand?
I must admit that I have been known to have a Twink in my clutches and quite enjoyed the situation.

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Old Nov 16, 2012, 06:03 PM   #73
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Yeah, lets make the company that employs us go out of business! That will teach those rich, fat cats for employing us!!!
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 06:12 PM   #74
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Another union victory!!!

(I think there may have been other factors too...)
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 06:19 PM   #75
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i wonder if it will be like Mothers where somene buys the recipes and name and then revives it.
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